October 11, 2013
The basic story hook here is that mana, magic, has the place in this world that electricity does in ours. But by its nature it isn't, and can't be, centrally generated. On the other hand, lots of people have magic power, and for a household there will be a small storage facility which someone (a resident) has to charge up once a day. Most of the magic appliances in the house draw their power from it. There are also appliances which draw their power from the person using them, like the hair dryer which blew up at the end of the first episode.
In this episode, Raul continues to train Fino, who initially has trouble with 7 critical phrases. I couldn't catch it but he runs through them and she copies them, except with minor changes which totally alter the meanings. So "I'll be right back with more" became "I want to see the gore". (Probably not a literal translation, but it's clear that the scene was an exercise in punning.)
At the beginning of the first episode, Raul was involved in a battle with three classmates, one of which was a blonde girl named Airy who got MCSA'ed. She shows up in this episode and she's in the OP and ED, so it's clear she's going to be a regular. Hardly surprising.
She runs into Raul during his lunch break, and he doesn't admit to her what he's doing. Then later he has dinner with the other two, guys, and it turns out that they don't have jobs because they refuse to give up on being heros. So the rest of the episode includes him feeling bad about losing his dream.
That sounds like angst, but it wasn't handled that way. It's a legitimate character moment for Raul, and it was handled well.
The high spot comedically was when someone tried to rob the store, wearing a voodoo mask and carrying a battleaxe. Nova is busy with a customer, and Raul is out at lunch, so Fino tries to deal with him. And she doesn't understand that he's trying to rob them; she thinks he's a legitimate customer and tries to deal with him on that basis. Raul comes back in the middle of it, and between the two of them they take the guy down, without any bloodshed and without destroying the store.
This image is from the ED (Sorry about the credits; there wasn't a clean frame of it):
Ordinarily I would say "Here's the harem." But not for this show, more on that later. On the far left is the store manager. Next is Nova, Raul's co-worker. The green-haired girl hasn't been introduced yet. The blonde in the middle is Airy, Raul's classmate; in the OP she's shown walking around dressed like a bunny-girl. Then Fino, the daughter of the demon lord, and the last two work in the quikimart next to the appliance store.
It isn't being handled as a harem, and that isn't the kind of story that's being told here. The writing in this show feels very fresh; there are so many tropes and cliches that could be used, and I don't see any of them happening: no accidental compromising situations, no nosebleeds, no tsunderes. (About that one, with Raul's combat training, anyone -- including any girl -- who tries to physically attack him will get a surprise.) And Raul isn't acting like a perv, and none of the girls are getting mad at him about things like that.
It continues to feel like "accidental magical girlfriend". So far they are primarily concentrating on the relationship between Raul and Fino -- but so far that relationship is entirely professional. It probably won't stay that way. I could be wrong, however; Airy may turn out to be the love interest. But I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turns out there isn't any love interest at all.
Another way this could go is to be about finding your dream, being happy with your lot in life. That's truly where I think this is going.
It would be great if that is the case.
I do like the choice they made to show Fino trying so hard. I expect her to fall to typecasting and they keep swerving her away. She's very sincere.
She was so happy
Posted by: topmaker at October 11, 2013 07:19 PM (2yZsg)
I'm not getting any "been there done that" feeling about this show. Yeah, it's got a lot of gorgeous women in it, only one of whom is flat-chested, and yeah, they're including a nice but not overwhelming amount of Fino naked images, but in nearly every other way, it's very fresh. And it's also really clever. I wish I could appreciate the puns in the scene where Fino blows all her lines, but it's obvious that someone put a lot of work into coming up with those.
I also agree that the Fino character is well conceived and being handled really well. In lesser hands she'd fall into one of two or three really moldy roles, but she hasn't.
She's hilarious when she starts imitating her father, like when she was threatening the robber.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 11, 2013 07:42 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: topmaker at October 11, 2013 07:51 PM (2yZsg)
The green-haired girl is Lore Beriferal. She seems to be the magic store's engineer and looks like it in the ED. She and Airy may not be flat-chested (78 and 79 cm respectively), but they don't gainax.
Between this and Evangelion, Lawson must be spending a lot on product placement. They're also talking about returning to the American mainland.
Posted by: muon at October 12, 2013 04:25 AM (4LL0R)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 12, 2013 06:01 AM (+rSRq)
I guess there are plenty examples of male/female rivalry, but having it not turn romantic really shortens the list. Dog Days is a great example.
Posted by: topmaker at October 12, 2013 07:58 AM (2yZsg)
Given that in the two episodes, a certain character overloads any magic-powered item they touch, that is likely to loom large in the story.
In fact, that'd make an awesome twist to the plot:Not that I think that'll happen, but it would certainly be something different.
Posted by: Tiberius at October 12, 2013 08:25 AM (97M8h)
The manager giving her pandering applause for the refrigerator sale and then to the Fino/Raul duo for defeating the robber was a nice touch, too.
It's a fun show.
Posted by: wahsatchmo at October 12, 2013 10:54 AM (r4uXE)
I do have to admit that I'm enjoying it so far. Let's see if they can keep it up...
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at October 12, 2013 02:38 PM (GJQTS)
Posted by: sqa at October 12, 2013 06:40 PM (rdcLU)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 12, 2013 07:05 PM (+rSRq)
Which makes this weird. Yoshimoto Kinji is, well, kind of all over the place. As in, he's the director of Another Lady Innocent & Queen's Blade. But he's directing a non-fanservice series, also this season, and Genshiken 2 wasn't terrible. So, we'll see.
Posted by: sqa at October 12, 2013 07:29 PM (rdcLU)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 12, 2013 07:30 PM (+rSRq)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
At Chizumatic, we take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately.
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